It’s probably quite a cliche, but also quite true: the second time you’re more relaxed and more experienced. You know what to expect. Until you realise, that your second child is completely different, even as a baby. There are some things, of course, which you try to do differently anyway, having learnt your lessons already. Like not buying all available cute baby products, just because they’re irresistible. Your second child, for example, won’t get 5 pairs of adorable baby shoes (all red) in their first year of life – because they don’t need them anyway until they start to walk. (It’s better for them to master their walking skills on barefoot.) On the other hand, you will surely buy the products again, which are worked for you for the first time.
So my list of 5 best buys for my baby girl relies on the combined experience with both children. All tested by me, this is my absolutely unbiased opinion on what to invest in, when a new bundle of joy is on the way.
1. Ergo Baby Original Carrier With Infant Insert
Second time around, I have to babywear. Bobcat is still not reliable when it comes to walking and needs a lot of encouragement to keep walking into the right direction. So I need him to be contained in the pram. For pushing the pram, I need my both hands to be free. We also walk quite a lot: I normally do nursery drop offs and we walk. Partially, because Babi hates car seats. Also because she naps in the carrier when we’re out and about. In fact, I often use it at home too at nap time, because she’s a very light sleeper and her big brother keeps waking her up, by being noisy. But in the carrier, she has decent, 1-2 hour long naps.
Before our Ergobaby, we tried a few others too (also with Bobcat), mainly more constructed ones, but didn’t like them.
The Ergobaby can be used by infants too, thanks to the special, cushioning insert. It is adjustable all over, and it has 3 possible carrying positions: front, back and hip. Breastfeeding is possible whilst baby is in the carrier. It has a rain/sun hood and it’s machine washable. It serves you for the years to come right from the beginning.
2. Snuza Hero
Snuza Hero is a very uncomplicated movement (breathing) monitor for infants. After using a monitor with wired mat with Bobcat (which I never felt quite happy about, but did the job), with Babi we had to face with a new problem. She refused to sleep on her back. Some babies just don’t. (She had silent reflux.) So I had to find a monitor which I can attach to her side or to her back. Snuza Hero was a piece of mind for the first 6 months. We did have a few false alarms, because I didn’t attach Hero properly or didn’t fasten the diaper well (I’d rather not call them false alarms for this reason). These events assured me though, that Hero works. Other great features are that it’s easy to wipe down, no external power or cords attached, long battery life, clips onto cloth nappy too, easy to operate and portable. Even if the alarm doesn’t go off after the vibration effect, Hero notifies you about the incident with a red flashing light.
3. Grobag Sleeping Bag
I used sleeping bags with my son, who absolutely hated to be swaddled. He was/is a wriggler, so he used them until recently (he’s nearly 3). We loved that he’s snug, warm and safe. So with my daughter, I didn’t even bother with swaddling. Can’t praise these enough. With the different tog ratings you are covered whatever the weather and they’re great for travel. (Especially if your little one treats them as a blankie, like mine did.)
4. Philips Avent Manual Breast Pump
I tested this pump with both children and for different purposes. Bobcat was combined fed, he never managed to latch properly. So I pumped. This pump is fast and does the job even if you use it every day. Babi is exclusively breastfed, so I only use it when having a night out and couldn’t breastfeed for more than 4 hours. Because it comes with a small bottle, I just pop it in a sterile plastic bag and take it with me. I bought a very expensive electronic double pump and other manuals too, just to realise that this pump is the best. Comes with a microwave safe box to sterilise it. It’s easy to use and the handle has a smooth movement.
5. Winter Pramsuit From John Lewis
This is a lovely pramsuit. Lightweight and warm, works perfectly both with the carrier and the pram, adds at least 2 extra layers. Washed well, and the fluffy faux fur bits never got felt-like. Great quality and value for the money. Now that she’s bigger, we use the mittens too. I love the unisex colours too.